Sept. 22, 2016
WASHINGTON - After playing seven of their first eight games this season on the road, the Georgetown field hockey team will host back-to-back contests at Cooper Field this weekend, beginning on Friday against No. 17 Old Dominion at 1 p.m. The Hoyas will then welcome Lehigh for a nonconference matchup on Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission for both games is free.
Georgetown (2-6, 0-1 BIG EAST) has won five of its last seven games at Cooper Field with losses coming to No. 2 Connecticut last season and William & Mary on September 9. The Tribe was receiving votes in the Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I Coaches Preseason Poll.
After going winless in conference play in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the Hoyas are looking for their second BIG EAST victory in as many seasons after beating Villanova 2-1 in overtime at Cooper Field on Oct. 16, 2015. Only the top four teams advance to the 2016 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship. Georgetown is hoping to make it's first-ever appearance.
HOYA HAPPENINGS Georgetown dropped both of its contests last week, including a 4-2 loss at Quinnipiac on Friday in the BIG EAST opener for both teams. The game marked the first-ever meeting between the two teams as the Bobcats are in their first season in the BIG EAST. Junior Megan Parsons (Chester Springs, Pa./Villa Maria) and sophomore Helena Masiello (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) both scored for the Hoyas. Senior Rachel Skonecki (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Red Land) made six saves while senior Maria McDonald (Center Valley, Pa./Southern Lehigh) was credited with her first-career defensive save.
Georgetown also dropped a 4-2 decision at Yale last Sunday after the Bulldogs broke open a scoreless game with four goals in a span of 5:36. Freshmen Michaela Bruno (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) and Lindsay Getz (Northfield, Ill./Loyola Academy) each scored in the loss while Skonecki had 13 saves. Bruno also added her team-leading second assist of the season to finish with a career-high three points.
A total of eight different players have found the back of the cage for the Hoyas this season and nine have totaled at least one point. Getz leads the team in goals with three and is tied with Bruno and senior Aliyah Graves-Brown (Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg Academy) for the team lead in points with six. The last time a freshman led the team in scoring was 2005 when Maggie Farrand led the team in goals (6), assists (5) and points (17). With five goals a year ago, Masiello was the first freshman to lead the team in goals since Farrand.
Skonecki has posted 10 or more saves in a game three times this season and 13 times in her career. Three of her top six single-game save totals have come this year, including her season high of 15 set at Rider. With 348 career saves, she is just 11 away from passing Deirdre Crovo (358) for fifth on the school's all-time list. Skonecki currently leads the BIG EAST in saves (74) and save percentage (.740) while ranking fifth in the nation in saves per game (9.25).
Senior Devin Holmes (Fleetville, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) is ranked third in the nation and the BIG EAST with four defensive saves. As a team, Georgetown is fifth in the Division I with six.
On Friday, Georgetown is looking for its first win in 35 games against ranked opponents since rejoining the BIG EAST in 2006.
SCOUTING OLD DOMINION The Lady Monarchs (4-3, 0-1 BIG EAST) are coming off back-to-back, one-goal losses last week. ODU lost to No. 5 Connecticut last Friday, 2-1, before also falling to James Madison, 2-1. Five of Old Dominion's seven games this season have been decided by just one goal.
The Lady Monarchs are 3-1 on the road this season with wins over American (2-1), Richmond (3-1) and William & Mary (2-1). Their lone loss came at No. 18 Penn State, 6-2, in the season opener for both teams.
Like Georgetown, a freshman leads ODU in goals and points as Erin Huffman has totaled four goals and eight points. Senior Casey Dolan and junior Danielle Grega, who led the team in scoring a year ago, have each tallied three goals. Another freshman, Marlee McClendon, leads the team in assists with three.
Sophomore Kealsie Robles, a NFHCA All-Region selection last year, has started every game in goal for the Lady Monarchs, making up 26 saves while posting a 2.72 goals against average and .634 save percentage.
Other key returners from last year's team that went 9-10 with five wins over top-20 teams are senior Megan Byas, a preseason All-BIG EAST selection, and sophomore Chrissy Horn, the 2015 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year.
Friday will mark just the fourth meeting between Georgetown and Old Dominion. The Lady Monarchs have won all three previous contests, including a 6-0 decision on Oct. 9, 2015 at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex. Grega scored twice in the contest while Skonecki made a career-high 18 saves for the Hoyas.
ODU won the last meeting at Cooper Field, 3-0 on Oct. 31, 2014. Skonecki faced 17 shots and 11 penalty corners and finished with 10 saves.
SCOUTING LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks (1-6) have lost six consecutive contests since opening the season with a 2-1 victory over Rider at home. They have been outscored 17-4 this season and 0-2 on the road with losses at Penn (2-0) and La Salle (2-1, OT). Despite the team's record, four of Lehigh's seven games this season have been decided by only one goal, including the last three.
The Mountain Hawks, who travel to American on Saturday before coming across town to the Hilltop, dropped contests to Bucknell (2-1) and BIG EAST foe Providence (1-0) last week.
Sophomore Teresa Carotenuto leads the team in goals (2) and points (5) this season and is one of just three players to find the back of the cage for Lehigh. Seniors Marissa Glatt and Kassidy Green each have one goal for the Mountain Hawks.
Senior Julia Ward has started six of the team's seven games in goal, totaling a 2.72 goals against average and a .727 save percentage. She ranks 15th in the nation in saves per game (6.67). The only game she did not appear in was last Sunday's loss to Providence in which Paige Innarella started and played all 70 minutes and making seven saves.
As a team, Lehigh is ranked 10th in the nation is saves per game (8.14), fifth in defensive saves with six and 12th in save percentage (.770). Lindsay Alvarez is ranked sixth in Division I with three defensive saves.
The Mountain Hawks have won nine of the 13 all-time meetings with Georgetown, including the last two in the District. The two teams have split the last six meetings with each team winning three times. Lehigh won the last meeting at Cooper Field, 4-2, on Sept. 21, 2014.
The Hoyas won last year's contest at Ulrich Sports Complex 1-0 when sophomore Sam Hickey (Coatesville, Pa./Villa Maria) scored her first-career goal with 2:08 remaining in the first half off an assist from Parsons. Skonecki made 13 saves and senior Molly Thompson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Pioneer) had one defensive save. Ward had four saves for Lehigh.
MULTIMEDIA Live video and statistics for both of this weekend's games are available on GUHoyas.com. Fans are also encouraged to follow @HoyasFH on Twitter for in-game updates and other information.